Is Your Project Stuck in the Weeds?

IT projects of every type can run into problems, get delayed, or overrun. Budgets and plans get abandoned. Projects get stuck for weeks, months or even years. But there’s something you can do to get back on track. If you spot the 3 key signs that your project is going no-where and understand the 3 key causes then you’re on the road to recovery.

We’re getting stuck?

You’re having an update on the project … the documents look the same as the last time, but with today’s date. Progress is good you’re told. However plans and milestones aren’t yet agreed or need to be deferred, the end date is not clear. Delays and overruns are mounting. Maybe no-one is being honest enough to admit that no-one really knows when this is actually going to end?

Ups and downs are natural

Projects will have ups and downs, including times when they hit unexpected challenges and progress falters. Sometimes complex projects are difficult to even get started! This is natural. But some project delays and overruns turn into big trouble, and unless you take action they’ll never finish. They’ll never provide the benefit they were meant to.

There are 3 key signs that a project is in big trouble and 3 reasons why it’s happening.

3 key signs

1. A persistent failure to move forward, which is matched by a persistent optimism that next week will be different. A can-do attitude can mask the fact that this is going no-where.

2. A lack of openness. If progress reports don’t make sense to you then they probably don’t make sense to anyone. Maybe no-one is willing to say: “this just doesn’t add up”.

3. No news at all. There’s no communication and a loss of interest and decline in morale. Maybe you’ve even stopped asking how it’s going!

There are 3 key causes behind this.

1. No-one with any authority is genuinely actively involved. The team can never get what they need, when they need it.

2. The team lack the expertise or structure to do what’s been asked.

3. The team simply don’t have the time or resources and are being overtaken by events.

Find out more

We often see projects like this. They’ve sometimes been like this for years and the team just don’t know what to do about it. If progress falls below a certain threshold then the real-world will move forward faster than the project and they simply become a white elephant! But if you look out for the 3 key signs and address the 3 key causes then you’re a long way forward.

If you’d like to talk to us about your projects please get in touch.

Freeman Clarke is the UK’s largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it “fractional”) IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organisations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.